Another UNIX Retrospective

December 27, 2011

I have written here a couple of times about the 40+ year history of the UNIX® operating system, and its many “descendants”, including Linux and Mac OS X.  UNIX began as a sort of “under the corporate radar” project at AT&T Bell Labs, following AT&T withdrawal from the MULTICS project.  This month’s issue of the IEEE Spectrum has a feature article on the history of UNIX, which began as a simple system running on an orphaned PDP-7 minicomputer, made by Digital Equipment Corporation.  The name of the system was a takeoff on the MULTICS name:

The name Unix stems from a joke one of [Ken] Thompson’s colleagues made: Because the new operating system supported only one user (Thompson), he saw it as an emasculated version of Multics and dubbed it “Un-multiplexed Information and Computing Service,” or Unics. The name later morphed into Unix.

The article gives a good overview of the many twists and turns, technical, legal, and otherwise,  of the history of UNIX, and its derivatives.  It’s worth a read if the history of technology interests you.


Firefox & Thunderbird 9.01 Released

December 27, 2011

Shortly after the release last week of version 9.0 of Firefox and Thunderbird, Mozilla released an updated version 9.01 for both the browser and the E-mail client.   Apparently, one of the fixes for a security vulnerability introduced a new bug, potentially affecting all platforms, with Mac users being most affected.  Bugzilla has the relevant bug record; there is also a brief article at ThreatPost.

You can get the new version via the built-in update mechanism, or from the download pages for Firefox and Thunderbird.


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